Dan McKie gets excited talking about Cleansing Stream Ministries, a Christian healing and deliverance program with which he's been involved for seven years.
"People come into church and they say they're OK but they're really not," Mr. McKie said. "Then you start praying for them and they need help and you can see people's lives change right before your very eyes. It's addicting! It's church!"
Mr. McKie and his wife, Barb, will teach a 12-week Cleansing Stream Ministries course beginning at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Calvary Assembly of God, 5025 Glendale Ave.
The same series also will be taught by Alan Benjamin at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 5240 Talmadge Rd., starting at 7 p.m. tomorrow.
There are between 400 and 500 "partnering churches" nationwide that hold Cleansing Stream Ministries seminars, including the Church on Strayer, 3000 Strayer Rd., in Monclova Township; St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, 112 East Wayne St., Maumee, and McCord Road Christian Church, 4765 North McCord Rd., Sylvania.
Cleansing Stream was started by the pastoral staff of the Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif., then pastored by the Rev. Jack Hayford.
The Rev. Tim Beck, director of ministries for Cleansing Stream, said the concept began more than 20 years ago when pastors at the Church on the Way could not keep up with the demand for counseling church members.
"They had so many people calling and wanting appointments, and they had to delay people because of the numbers," Mr. Beck said.
In reviewing their procedures, the pastors found common threads in their counseling steps that they could share with others.
"Jesus said, 'You will know the truth and the truth will make you free,'" Mr. Beck said. "If people aren't basing their freedom from struggles and problems and unresolved issues in their lives on the truth, they aren't really getting free. It's like putting a Band-Aid on it. It's not going to go away."
Mr. Beck said the seminars began in 1986 as an effort to help members of Church on the Way but has since grown into a worldwide ministry.
"It has been pretty amazing and the only thing we feel we can attribute that to is the hand of God has been on it," he said. "People are hungry for breakthrough. They're hungry for answers to things they struggle with in their lives."
Cleansing Stream Ministries has defined its mission as "advancing an even-handed, pastor-centered, Christ-glorifying, Bible-based, Spirit-filled approach to deliverance."
That deliverance can involve a wide range of problems including self-condemnation, pride, fear, rejection, unforgiveness, and abandonment, according to Mr. McKie and Mr. Benjamin.
"Abandonment is a huge thing. So many people think their husband or their wife is going to leave them like the last one did. Or children thinking their parents are going to abandon them," said Mr. McKie.
"We anoint them with oil, pray over their hearts, and watch their faces light up. It's about people being set free and staying free," he said.
Mr. Benjamin said Cleansing Stream seminars are about going "back to basics in your faith - walking in the Spirit, speaking words of life, entering the cleansing stream."
After several classes to get on the right path, participants then take part in a weekend retreat devoted to helping people overcoming their particular problems.
"I've been involved with Cleansing Stream for six years now and it's obviously improved my relationship with Jesus quite a bit," Mr. Benjamin said. "But it's also gotten things out of my life that were obstacles to that relationship."
A regional retreat will be held in Pittsburgh Oct. 2 and 3, with as many as 1,600 people attending.
"Anybody in the church has a need for Cleansing Stream at some level," Mr. Benjamin said. "It's just getting people to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, to step forward and say, 'Yes, I need this.'•It really can change people's lives."
More information on Cleansing Stream Ministries is available online at cleansingstream.org or by calling the national headquarters in Van Nuys, Calif., at 800-580-8190.
- David Yonke